|Created by||Lena Dunham|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||62 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||26–41 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||April 15, 2012 –|
April 16, 2017
Girls is an American comedy-drama television series created by and starring Lena Dunham and executive produced by Judd Apatow. The series follows the lives of four young women living in New York City. The show's premise and major aspects of the main character—including being cut off financially from her parents, becoming a writer, and making unfortunate decisions—were drawn from Dunham's own life.
The first season of Girls was filmed between April and August 2011. The first three episodes were screened at the 2012 SXSW Festival and the series premiered on HBO on April 15, 2012. The second season ran on HBO from January 13, 2013, to March 17, 2013. The third season, which contained 12 episodes as opposed to the previous seasons' 10 episodes, ran from January 12, 2014, to March 23, 2014. The fourth season of the series started filming in April 2014 and premiered on January 11, 2015. The fifth season premiered on February 21, 2016. Girls' sixth and final season concluded on April 16, 2017, culminating in a total of 62 episodes.
Since its release in 2012, the series has generated some criticism over its depiction of sexual assault, and Dunham's frequent on-screen nudity, though it has also received considerable critical acclaim and several accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and the BAFTA TV Award for Best International.
Aspiring writer Hannah is shocked when her parents, visiting from East Lansing, Michigan, announce that they will no longer financially support her as they had done since her graduation from Oberlin College two years earlier. Left to her own devices in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Hannah navigates her twenties, "one mistake at a time." Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver and Alex Karpovsky co-star as Hannah's circle of friends.
|Lena Dunham||Hannah Helene Horvath||Main|
|Allison Williams||Marnie Marie Michaels||Main|
|Jemima Kirke||Jessa Johansson||Main|
|Zosia Mamet||Shoshanna Shapiro||Main|
|Adam Driver||Adam Sackler||Main|
|Alex Karpovsky||Raymond "Ray" Ploshansky||Recurring||Main|
|Andrew Rannells||Elijah Krantz||Recurring||Main|
|Ebon Moss-Bachrach||Desi Harperin||N/A||Recurring||Main|
|Jake Lacy||Fran Parker||N/A||Recurring||Main||N/A|
Lena Dunham's 2010 second feature, Tiny Furniture—which she wrote, directed and starred in—received positive reviews at festivals as well as awards attention, including Best Narrative Feature at South by Southwest and Best First Screenplay at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards. The independent film's success earned her the opportunity to collaborate with Judd Apatow for an HBO pilot. Judd Apatow said he was drawn to Dunham's imagination after watching Tiny Furniture, and added that Girls would provide men with an insight into "realistic females."
Some of the struggles facing Dunham's character Hannah—including being cut off financially from her parents, becoming a writer and making unfortunate decisions—are inspired by Dunham's real-life experiences. The show's look is achieved by furnishings at a number of vintage boutiques in New York, including Brooklyn Flea and Geminola owned by the mother of Jemima Kirke.
Dunham said Girls reflects a part of the population not portrayed in the 1998 HBO series Sex and the City. "Gossip Girl was teens duking it out on the Upper East Side and Sex and the City was women who [had] figured out work and friends and now want to nail romance and family life. There was this 'hole-in-between' space that hadn't really been addressed," she said. The pilot intentionally references Sex and the City as producers wanted to make it clear that the driving force behind Girls is that the characters were inspired by the former HBO series and moved to New York to pursue their dreams. Dunham herself says she "revere[s] that show just as much as any girl of my generation".
As executive producer, Dunham and Jennifer Konner are both showrunners of the series while Dunham is also the head writer. Apatow is also executive producer, under his Apatow Productions label. Dunham wrote or co-wrote all ten episodes of the first season and directed five, including the pilot. Season one was filmed between April and August 2011 and consisted of 10 episodes. The second season ran on HBO from January 13, 2013, to March 17, 2013, and also consisted of 10 episodes.
On April 4, 2013, Christopher Abbott left the series after sources reported he and Dunham had differences with the direction that his reoccurring character Charlie was taking as the third season entered production. Dunham announced via Instagram on September 6, 2013, that production for the third season had concluded. Season 3, which contained 12 episodes as opposed to the previous seasons 10 episodes, ran from January 12, 2014, to March 23, 2014. The fourth season of the series started filming in April 2014. On January 5, 2016, HBO announced its upcoming 6th season would be its last, allowing the writers to create a proper finale.
Main article: List of Girls episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||April 15, 2012||June 17, 2012|
|2||10||January 13, 2013||March 17, 2013|
|3||12||January 12, 2014||March 23, 2014|
|4||10||January 11, 2015||March 22, 2015|
|5||10||February 21, 2016||April 17, 2016|
|6||10||February 12, 2017||April 16, 2017|
Critics lauded the show for its raw nature, humor, and refreshing tone, applauding Dunham's more realistic portrayal of women and their relationships than mainstream media tends to present.[improper synthesis?]
The first season of Girls received universal acclaim from television critics. On review aggregation website Metacritic, the first season of the series holds an average of 87 based on 29 reviews. The website also lists the show as the highest-rated fictional series debut of 2012.
James Poniewozik from Time reserved high praise for the series, calling it "raw, audacious, nuanced and richly, often excruciatingly funny". Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter called Girls "one of the most original, spot-on, no-missed-steps series in recent memory". Reviewing the first three episodes at the 2012 SXSW Festival, he said the series conveys "real female friendships, the angst of emerging adulthood, nuanced relationships, sexuality, self-esteem, body image, intimacy in a tech-savvy world that promotes distance, the bloodlust of surviving New York on very little money and the modern parenting of entitled children, among many other things—all laced together with humor and poignancy". The New York Times also applauded the series and said: "Girls may be the millennial generation's rebuttal to Sex and the City, but the first season was at times as cruelly insightful and bleakly funny as Louie on FX or Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO."
Despite many positive reviews, several critics criticized the characters themselves. Gawker's John Cook strongly criticised Girls, saying it was "a television program about the children of wealthy famous people and shitty music and Facebook and how hard it is to know who you are and Thought Catalog and sexually transmitted diseases and the exhaustion of ceaselessly dramatizing your own life while posing as someone who understands the fundamental emptiness and narcissism of that very self-dramatization."
The second season of Girls continued to receive critical acclaim. On Metacritic, the second season of the series holds an average of 84 based on 19 reviews. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter stated that "Girls kicks off its second season even more assured of itself, able to deftly work strands of hard-earned drama into the free-flowing comedic moments of four postcollege girls trying to find their way in life". David Wiegland of the San Francisco Chronicle said that "The entire constellation of impetuous, ambitious, determined and insecure young urbanites in Girls is realigning in the new season, but at no point in the four episodes sent to critics for review do you feel that any of it is artificial". Verne Gay of Newsday said it is "Sharper, smarter, more richly layered, detailed and acted". Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly felt that "As bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as it was in its first season, Girls may now be even spunkier, funnier, and riskier". In reference to the series' growth, Willa Paskin of Salon thought that Girls "has matured by leaps and bounds, comedically and structurally, but it has jettisoned some of its ambiguity, its sweetness, its own affection for its characters. It's more coherent, but it's also safer."
The third season of Girls received generally positive reviews. On Metacritic, the third season of the series holds an average of 76 based on 18 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports an 89% "Certified Fresh" approval rating from critics, based on 27 reviews with an average score of 7.8/10. The consensus states: "Still rife with shock value, Season 3 of Girls also benefits from an increasingly mature tone."
Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter lauded the first two episodes, and commented: "Going into its third season, Girls is as refreshing and audacious as ever and one of the few half-hour dramedies where you can feel its heart pounding and see its belly ripple with laughter." In addition, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and PopMatters praised the comedic portrayal of its lead female characters.
The fourth season of Girls received generally positive reviews. On Metacritic, the fourth season of the series holds an average of 75 based on 16 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports an 83% "Certified Fresh" approval rating from critics, based on 24 reviews with an average score of 7.5/10. The consensus states: "Girls is familiar after four seasons, but its convoluted-yet-comical depiction of young women dealing with the real world still manages to impress."
The fifth season of Girls received generally positive reviews. On Metacritic, the fifth season of the series holds an average of 73 based on 13 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports an 85% "Certified Fresh" approval rating from critics, based on 20 reviews with an average score of 8.14/10. The consensus states: "Though some characters have devolved into caricatures, watching them struggle in Girls is more fun in season five, with sharper humor and narrative consistency than prior seasons." Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave the season a positive review writing: "Girls had only a niche audience. It's possible that being freed from the responsibility of the zeitgeist is what has kept Girls so watchable. The start of the fifth season won't launch an armada of think pieces, but if you still get pleasure from watching these flawed, often awful characters make flawed, often funny choices, Girls is still Girls."
The sixth season of Girls received highly positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the sixth season of the series holds an average of 79 based on 15 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports an 89% approval rating from critics, based on 35 reviews with an average score of 8.01/10. The consensus states, "In its final season, Girls remains uncompromising, intelligent, character driven, compassionate – and at times consciously aggravating."
The broadcast of the season's third episode "American Bitch" in Australia on showcase had to be edited, due to a scene which breached the maximum MA15+ classification of the broadcaster.
|2012||2nd Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Comedy Series||Girls||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|28th TCA Awards||Outstanding New Program||Girls||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Comedy||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|64th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Girls||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated||Episode: "She Did"|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated||Episode: "She Did"|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series||Jennifer Euston||Won|
|17th Satellite Awards||Television Series, Comedy or Musical||Girls||Nominated|
|Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|65th Writers Guild of America Awards||Comedy Series||Series writers||Nominated|
|New Series||Series writers||Won|
|Women's Image Network Awards||Outstanding Film / Show Written by A Woman||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|Outstanding Film / Show Directed by A Woman||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|Peabody Award||Area of Excellence||Girls||Won|
|2013||70th Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical||Girls||Won|
|Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical||Lena Dunham||Won|
|65th Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Won||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Art Directors Guild Awards||Episode of a Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series||Judy Becker||Won||Episode: "Pilot"|
|British Academy Television Awards||International Prize||Girls||Won|
|3rd Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Actress in a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Alex Karpovsky||Nominated|
|Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series||Patrick Wilson||Nominated|
|65th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Girls||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated||Episode: "Bad Friend"|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Adam Driver||Nominated||Episode: "It's Back"|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated||Episode: "On All Fours"|
|Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series||Jennifer Euston||Nominated|
|2014||71st Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical||Girls||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|3rd Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series||Andrew Rannells||Nominated|
|66th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Lena Dunham||Nominated||Episode: "Beach House"|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Adam Driver||Nominated||Episode: "Two Plane Rides"|
|2015||72nd Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical||Girls||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical||Lena Dunham||Nominated|
|67th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Adam Driver||Nominated||Episode: "Close-up"|
|Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Gaby Hoffmann||Nominated||Episode: "Home Birth"|
|4th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series||Becky Ann Baker||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Adam Driver||Nominated|
|2016||68th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series||Peter Scolari||Won||Episode: "Good Man"|
|7th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Allison Williams||Nominated|
|2017||69th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Becky Ann Baker||Nominated||Episode: "Gummies"|
|Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series||Riz Ahmed||Nominated||Episode: "All I Ever Wanted"|
|Matthew Rhys||Nominated||Episode: "American Bitch"|
|Outstanding Music Supervision||Manish Raval, Jonathan Leahy and Tom Wolfe||Nominated|
The premiere of the pilot was also met with criticism regarding the all-white main cast in the otherwise culturally diverse setting of New York City (the only black actors in the pilot were a homeless man and a taxi driver, and the only Asian actress had the sole trait of being good at Photoshop).
Writing at The Hairpin, Jenna Wortham rebuked the show for its lack of a main black character. "It feels alienating, a party of four engineered to appeal to a very specific subset of the television viewing audience, when the show has the potential to be so much bigger than that. And that is a huge fucking disappointment."
Lesley Arfin, a writer for the show, responded to the controversy with the tweeted comment: "What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME". Arfin later deleted the comment following the uproar. Lena Dunham has given interviews where she talks about the diversity question with the series, stating that with HBO's renewal of the series for a second season, "these issues will be addressed". Donald Glover guest starred as Sandy, a black Republican and Hannah's love interest, in the first two episodes of season two.
Agreeing that there is a lack of racial diversity on Girls, Maureen Ryan from The Huffington Post argues that the issue is the industry as a whole. "Where are the think pieces taking networks to task for the millionth procedural about a troubled male cop or the millionth comedy about a guy who has problems with women? Why are we holding Lena Dunham's feet to the fire, instead of the heads of networks and studios? That troubles me, not least because it's easier (and lazier) to attack a 25-year-old woman who's just starting out than to attack the men twice her age who actually control the industry. ...I have to say that I'm absolutely astonished that, of all shows, this is the one that is being attacked for being too white. I could list the shows on television with all-white casts, but then we'd be here all day." Dunham has publicly said, "I really wrote the show from a gut-level place, and each character was a piece of me or based on someone close to me". She adds that she wanted to avoid tokenism in casting. The experience of a black character would involve a certain specificity, a type she could not speak to.
Girls has prompted debate about its treatment of feminism. It has been praised for its portrayal of women and female friendship but criticized as classist, racist, transphobic and misguided. In an online review for Ms Magazine, Kerensa Cadenas argues, "Despite its lack of a serious class and race consciousness, Girls does address other feminist issues currently in play, among them body image, abortion, relationships within a social media age, and street harassment. In another series, these issues might be the focus of one episode (e.g., the abortion episode of SATC), but in Girls they become everyday topics."
On the other hand, Catherine Scott of The Independent, writing about season one in 2012, asked, "What's there to celebrate for feminism when black, Hispanic or Asian women are totally written out of a series that's supposedly set in one of the most diverse cities on earth? But also, what's there to celebrate for feminism when a show depicts four entirely self-interested young women and a lead character having the most depressing, disempowered sexual relationships imaginable?"
Girls premiered on April 15, 2012, on HBO in the United States. The first three episodes were screened at the 2012 SXSW Festival on March 12.
HBO renewed the series for a second season of ten episodes on April 30, 2012.
On January 7, 2014, the premiere of the third season of Girls was shown at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Models Karlie Kloss, Karen Elson, and Hilary Rhoda; designers Nicole Miller, Cynthia Rowley, and Zac Posen; and editors Anna Wintour, Joanna Coles, and Amy Astley were all in attendance. The after party was at the Allen Room and "hosted by HBO and the Cinema Society".
Girls premiered on OSN in the Middle East on September 7, 2012. In Australia, it premiered on Showcase on May 28, 2012. The series began airing on HBO Canada on April 15, 2012. In New Zealand, the SoHo channel premiered Girls in May 2012.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the series premiered on Sky Atlantic on October 22, 2012. The second season premiered on January 14, 2013, and the third season began airing on January 20, 2014. The fourth season premiered on January 12, 2015.
|Region 1/A||Region 2/B||Region 4/B||BBFC||ACB|
|Standard releases (DVD and Blu-ray)|
|The Complete First Season||10||December 11, 2012||February 4, 2013||December 12, 2012||18||MA15+|
|The Complete Second Season||10||August 13, 2013||August 12, 2013||October 23, 2013||18||MA15+|
|The Complete Third Season||12||January 6, 2015||January 12, 2015||December 10, 2014||15||MA15+|
|The Complete Fourth Season||10||February 16, 2016||February 15, 2016||December 9, 2015||18||MA15+|
|The Complete Fifth Season||10||January 3, 2017||January 16, 2017||December 7, 2016||18||MA15+|
|The Final Season||10||July 26, 2017||July 24, 2017||July 26, 2017||18||MA15+|
|Multiple releases (DVD only)|
|The Complete First and Second Season||20||No release||August 12, 2013||November 20, 2013||18||MA15+|
|The Complete First, Second & Third Seasons||32||No release||July 12, 2015||No release||18||N/A|
|The Complete First, Second, Third & Fourth Season||42||No release||February 15, 2016||December 9, 2015||18||MA15+|
|The Complete Seasons 1-5||52||No release||No release||December 7, 2016||N/A||MA15+|
|The Complete Seasons 1-6||62||No release||July 24, 2017||July 26, 2017||18||MA15+|